Sept. 17 Letters to the Editor
Valley lost a friend
Today I lost my best friend. Bill Henderson died Monday (Labor Day) morning.
How fitting he died on Labor Day. Bill loved his work at the Carson Valley Inn so much that at his insistence he kept working until he was physically unable to.
I bet at least a dozen men in the Carson Valley are saying the same thing: “Today I lost my best friend.” That’s the way Bill was.
I could say a lot of things about Bill and my feelings on his loss, but that’s not what this letter is for. The last time I saw Bill was a few weeks ago. We sat and talked for a couple of hours. When I left we gave each other a simulated hug (for COVID purposes) and we said “I love you” to each other. Men don’t do that. It felt good. My grieving for Bill is so much less because I got to say “I love you” to him before he died.
So the purpose of this letter is to tell anyone reading it that if there is someone in your life who you need or want to say ‘I love you” to, do it now. Don’t wait until it’s too late and you spend the rest of your life regretting you didn’t take a few minutes out of your life to say “I love you.” Do it now.
Valley loses two benefactors
On behalf of all of us here at the Food Closet, we wish to extend our condolences to the families of Bill Henderson and Anje DeKnijf.
Bill was a gentle giant with a heart for this Community. What a pleasure to work side by side with Bill each holiday season. He tirelessly supported us during our biggest event of the year always making sure that we had what we needed, that our numbers were up from previous years, worrying about all the details, and graciously playing host to the Food Closet, Channel 2 News, and other parties involved in the event. As we enter the planning stages of this Event for 2020 it is difficult to imagine meetings without his quiet voice of confidence and encouraging smile. As the day of this Event arrives, we are certain that we will be saddened by his absence, but in Bill Henderson fashion we will continue to rally this generous Community to give beyond anyone’s expectations so that no one should go to bed hungry in Douglas County.
Anje was a long-time volunteer and supporter of the Food Closet with a smile and a presence that would light up the space that she entered. During her time with our organization, she could most likely be found in a place that would put her in direct contact and conversation with those in need of food. Her calm and caring demeanor always put new recipients at ease as she went out of her way to make each person feel worthy of the help they were receiving. One of her biggest contributions to the Food Closet was her endeavor to help us find a home for the agency as we out-grew our old space. Thanks to Anje’s dedication and efforts we procured one acre of land where our new facility currently resides. The location of the new facility offers so many ways of being able to provide for the food-insecure in our community and the surrounding area. The memory of her tears of joy as the purchase was finalized and at milestones during the building process is still so vivid. We will greatly miss her spontaneous visits and words of encouragement. As a nonprofit, many amazing people have given their time and love to our important cause. Bill and Anje have left an indelible mark on our agency and those they serve.
Bill was always there
You know I don’t think a time went by when we didn’t see Bill Henderson at work at the CVI. Whether it be when we were at breakfast at Katie’s, at CV Steak for dinner, or at an outdoor concert at TJ’s Corral, Bill was so outgoing, and always took time to stop by and say hello. He was a wonderful person and, in our humble opinion, can’t be replaced. Our best to his family for a terrible loss of a wonderful man.
Donna and James Baushke
Farm Bureau backs Question 3
The Douglas-Carson Farm Bureau board unanimously supports Question 3, which would add a ¼-cent sales tax to be used exclusively for purchasing conservation easements, and other land devoted to open space. This would be a funding mechanism to support the preservation of open space. The board believes that this would benefit the residents of Douglas County by:
■ Maintaining passive flood control. Reno has spent hundreds of millions to construct flood control structures.
■ Preserving open space will protect the rural character of the valley, provide wildlife habitat and maintain the agricultural heritage that many of our citizens moved to Carson Valley to enjoy.
■ The farm bureau supports tying the water to the ground on any easement purchased. This will not only ensure ground water recharge, but also protect the water from leaving the valley.
■ Ranchers who choose to participate in this program will be compensated for their development rights. This will relieve the pressure to develop.
■ Currently, the value of development far exceeds the value of ranch land. To maximize land values landowners are creating 19-acre home sites. The purchasers of these home sites are typically hobby ranchers. Most hobby ranchers have little knowledge of weed control, irrigation ditch maintenance, and the importance of the Alpine Decree. These hobby farms make it very difficult for any downstream landowner to continue ranching.
■ The best and most permanent land planning is accomplished with a checkbook.
The Douglas/Carson Farm Bureau encourages the residents of Douglas County to vote yes on question 3.
Douglas Carson Farm Bureau
Ballot question will help preserve heritage
We love Douglas County because of its agricultural heritage, culture and beauty. However, that lifestyle is in grave danger. Without the passage of County Question 3, the ability for us to control the degradation will be gone.
In June, the Board of County Commissioners – on the recommendation of the Planning Commission – voted unanimously to place an advisory question on the November ballot asking to raise the current sales tax rate of 7.1% to 7.35% (still one of the lowest in NV) to purchase development rights from willing sellers in order to create conservation easements. These easements will preserve agricultural and open lands in perpetuity as well as tie the water rights to the land forever.
Question 3 will raise approximately $1.5 million a year from residents, tourists and visitors passing through. The tax will only apply to nonessentials and is a fixed rate. The funds will be isolated so that they cannot be diverted to back-fill the General Fund for any purpose.
We invite anyone with questions to visit our webpage at http://www.dcopenspace.com… and to Vote YES on 3. A quarter of a cent (25 cents per $100) – is that too much to ask to preserve and protect our home?
Douglas County Agricultural and Open Space Conservation Plan
Valley’s open space in danger
There is never a good time to get a new tax passed, especially in Douglas County. However, in the case of Question 3 time is of the essence. We are rapidly losing our open space and view sheds. Many of us live in the Carson Valley because of its rural character and rich agricultural heritage. If we do not support question 3, the very thing we enjoy about the Valley will disappear.
Question 3 asks for an increase in sales tax of ¼ of 1 percent. Sales tax is not charged on food or services. If you went to an auto repair shop to have your car repaired, your bill will show the cost of labor and parts separately. Only the parts are subject to sales tax, services are not.
According to the IRS sales tax deduction calculator, which can be found at http://www.irs.gov,a family of four earning between $50,000 and $59,999 a year would pay $30.29 per year on an increase in sales tax of ¼ of one percent. All funds collected from this tax will be used exclusively to acquire conservation easements. The amount of the tax will not increase and none of this money can be used to back fill the general fund.
Support question 3 – It’s worth it.
Honor to have the president
Regardless of your political persuasions, it is always an honor to have the president of the United States visit your community. We owe the office of the presidency that respect. Saturday, Douglas County had the honor of hosting President Trump’s visit and once again our community responded! It is no small feat to pull off an event of that magnitude and I feel lucky to have attended. Some of your readers may not know that the decision to move the event to Minden only occurred on Thursday, tickets were made available on Friday, and thousands of people showed up on Saturday. For an event of that size to be put together that quickly and for it to be run as smoothly as it was is a testament to the organizers and attendees. Even in the long lines to get in and traffic jams to get out, everybody was respectful, well-behaved, and in great spirits!
A big thanks to the Republican National Committee, the Trump Campaign, and the Nevada Republican Party for making this event happen! An even bigger thanks to the Minden Tahoe Airport, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and East Fork Fire for their work in ensuring a safe and secure event! As President Trump might say, it was tremendous.
Rally increases risk of infection
Douglas County Commissioners: Please tell us why you have the power and the right to expose all of us living in Douglas County (and other people nearby and passing through) to a significant rise of the risk of being infected with the virus: because you let a single person — refused by the Reno airport — hold a rally at our little airport. So this person is more important to you than the people in this county? If the number of covid cases rises over the next several weeks (and thereafter) will you pay for the treatment? Feel responsible if someone dies? Of course, the increase of the number of cases might not be large — but it is not your job to expose us to the RISK that it might indeed be significant! Permitting the rally seems selfish and is potentially very dangerous. A current low number of covid cases does not prevent a rise of that number, especially if unsafe behavior is encouraged. And how many of us now will not risk going out to local businesses, restaurants, bars, etc. over the next few weeks or longer; is this good for business? Please explain yourselves, nonpolitically, in public.
Thanks for highlighting good news
It’s encouraging what’s being commented on via this venue the good news of what our U.S. president has done and is doing, thanks to Jim Hartman and Eileen Cohen this time – R-C Sept. 10 — and in many other issues.
Eileen‘s initial negative remarks on his speaking style is of course in the eye and ear of the beholder (maybe even a wily way to catch opponents’ attention).
I myself find him very engaging, personal, factually informative, boldly confidant, sincere, respectful — where respect is due — honest, comfortingly managerial, always interesting, refreshingly spontaneous, and just plain fun…an important quality for sustaining most people’s attention.
I’m sure I speak for thousands, who also felt fortunate and privileged to suddenly have the unbelievable opportunity to see and hear him in person right in our own backyard at Minden Tahoe Airport on Sept. 12 — thanks to Reno Airport restrictions. To the contrary supporters came out in busloads to celebrate our nation’s only hope.
Who’s a loser and sucker?
“Who is the Real Loser and Sucker?” The one whose calling the military these horrible words.
How can we listen to the so-called president whose calling Fallen Soldiers “Losers and Suckers”, and not get mad and feel sick by what he is saying.
My Uncle, James Winford Berry F2C who is still serving and will always be on the USS Arizona who gave his life for our Country.
Gary’s Grandfather spent 3 years in the trenches in France and then was killed in Verdun. He gave his life for his Country.
My father and four brothers, Father-in-Law and Uncles on both sides of our family all served for this Great Country of ours.
Gary served in Vietnam and our middle son was U.S. Marine. Our oldest grandson is currently serving in the U.S. Army, our other grandson is joining the U.S. Navy the later part of this month. I have many nephew and nieces that are also serving for this Great Country of ours. Some are deployed overseas and praying they are safe.
They are not “Losers and Suckers”. These are the Heroes of this Great Country of ours.
Let get the word correct They are “heroes.”
Just saying black lives matter
When the mob on Aug. 8 told me to “go home,” I’d like to believe they didn’t recognize me. They didn’t know I’ve lived here since 2017, that we just recently built a new house, or that I’m running for Assembly. Hopefully, they weren’t saying those hateful words to me because of the color of my skin or because I’m LGBTQ. Maybe they just believed the false narrative about Black Lives Matter.
When I came to Minden that day, I was not looking to burn anything down, destroy property or be violent. I came simply to say that Black lives matter. I also felt that Sheriff Coverley had been inappropriate and unprofessional.
The library proposed to discuss a statement adopted by 170 libraries: “The Douglas County Public Library denounces all acts of violence, racism and disregard for human rights. We support #BlackLivesMatter. We resolutely assert and believe that all forms of racism, hatred, inequality and injustice don’t belong in our society.”
Sheriff Coverley responded: “Due to your support of Black Lives Matter and the obvious lack of support or trust with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, please do not feel the need to call 911 for help. I wish you good luck with disturbances and lewd behavior…”
Coverley wildly mischaracterized BLM and proposed to violate his oath to grant all persons equal protection under the law.
I’ve never called for “defunding the police.” When I was in my 20s, I volunteered with the NYPD Auxiliary Police to help address “disturbances and lewd behavior.” But, because I was unarmed, those confrontations could never escalate to lethal force.
So, when I talk about “reimagining public safety,” this is what I imagine. I want to “re-fund” mental and behavioral health cuts that have decimated communities. I want young people to get more involved in public safety. I want more funding for mental health counseling and de-escalation tactics so disturbances never result in loss of life (Black or otherwise).
I am not a socialist, anarchist or member of Antifa. The BLM organizers in Carson City and Minden I’ve gotten to know are thoughtful and caring young people. Their strength and resolve in the face of hate shows maturity beyond their years. To characterize them as “violent” cannot be farther from the truth.
It pains me that many have moved away because they no longer feel safe or welcome. I love my new home. But communities cannot attract new businesses, entrepreneurs or tourism when they become known for hate. After losing conventions and $60 million in business following 2015 anti-LGBTQ legislation, Indiana lawmakers had to “fix” their law. Hatred and intolerance is bad for the community and the economy.
I’d like to believe that those who have moved or are thinking of moving away are wrong about what August 8th says about us. I hope that I and others of differing viewpoints, ethnicities, sexual orientations and gender expressions can still call Douglas County home, without being told we don’t belong. But only time may tell.
Topaz Ranch Estates
Keep rural character
Our Master Plan is the guiding document for the county. It reflects the “public opinion and desires for the future of Douglas County,” not that of temporary elected officials or county staff.
The introduction also states that residents “feel strongly that protection of this high quality of life and the particular features that make this county so attractive should be a high priority. The theme ‘keep our rural character’ was heard many times in many different ways from residents.” That refrain to continues to this day.
Our Master Plan, however, is under attack from special interests, Community Development, and County Commissioners, some of whom have less than 4 months left to serve. They are proposing changes to the Master Plan that are contrary to the public interest.
In the original version in 1996, and in every update since then, including the draft 2017 update, the first goal of the “Growth Management Element” has been: “To manage growth in Douglas County at a level that our natural and fiscal resources can support.” This year, however, with no explanation, they are trying to add the phrase “and that our businesses need to flourish.” That is an unwanted pro-development statement, thinly veiled support for more and more relatively low-cost housing, with its attendant traffic, water use, and costs to county taxpayers.
Likewise, the first goal of the “Land Use Element” started as: “To retain the beauty, the natural setting and resources and the rural/agricultural character of the county” All of that is gone in the proposed new version, and in its place is to achieve “balance between preservation and development,” another giveaway to pro-development interests. That is contrary to the expressed desire “to keep our rural character,” which should remain as the first priority.
How is this happening? Community Development was asked recently, and they implied that it was the wishes of the County Commissioners. That, of course, would be 3-2 vote of the Commissioners, which next year will likely be 3-2 the other way, since only one of the three candidates that had massive campaign contributions from pro-development interests won, and that one by only 17 votes.
Commissioners Penzel, Walsh and Rice are trying to hastily cram through this update before the end of the year, despite the shortage of time, the contentious November election, and the challenges posed by the COVID pandemic. That, too, is not in the pubic interest. In past updates, staff has held workshops in every community, from Tahoe to Topaz. This year they are holding presentations only at the Community Center, and only on two days. The first one only had five members of the public.
This, by the way, is still supposed to be the 20-year 2016 (!!!) Update. Next year is scheduled to be the 25-year update. Those same three Commissioners, having “kicked the can down the road” for years, now want to rush it through without adequate public input. It’s shameful, and the public should let them know that it is unacceptable. Residents should also go on the County website and complete the online survey. Our Master Plan should reflect the resident’s interests, not those of special interests or a couple of out-going Commissioners.
Raising roof over library roof
Didn’t all five members of the current Board of County Commissioners approve $138,000 for a new library building roof plus an additional 10 percent ($13,800) contingeny? In other words, didn’t the commissioners actually approve $151,800? Didn’t Commissioner Walsh point out that the original estimate was $115,000 but still voted for the much higher bid? Couldn’t the existing roof simply be repaired for much less expense to the taxpayer? How many of the Commissioners would spend their own money on a roofer for their house who increased his bid 20% and then asked for another 10% at the roofer’s discretion? Is it unreasonable to expect Commissioners to be as careful with Douglas taxpayer dollars as they are with their own?
At the Aug. 6 BOCC meeting didn’t Chairman Penzel point out that the Trustees of the County Library Board, and not the BOCC, have the sole authority to appoint, evaluate and supervise the Library Director? However, didn’t Penzel chose to omit in his statement that all five Library Trustees were appointed by the BOCC, in accordance with NRS 379.020, including one Trustee who recently resigned? If, for example, Republican members of this and prior BOCC majorities decide to appoint alleged Marxist Library Trustees, should the BOCC Chairman deny any responsibility for or be surprised by Library Trustees appointing a Library Director who may be perceived by some as an alleged Marxist activist?
On Aug. 6 didn’t Chairman Penzel also omit from his Library statement that NRS 283.440 gives the BOCC the authority to remove any member of the Library Board of Trustees for malpractice, malfeasance or nonfeasance? Does anyone think the 3 to 2 vote by Library Trustees in favor of spending 30K Douglas taxpayer dollars to “investigate” a recent political incident was a prudent decision?
Do you believe BOCC decisions about the Douglas County Library show substantial room for improvement? Do you support the selection by the BOCC of a qualified replacement Library Board Trustee who is not an alleged Marxist?